What is a sponsorship? What is a sponsor?
A sponsorship is the financial and moral support of a child, which allows him/her to pursue their education. At Cameleon, the sponsorship is individual and the contact personal and on a regular basis. The Sponsorship is made concrete through exchanges by mail (in English): letters, postcards, pictures, drawings, parcels, and reports prepared then sent to the Sponsor by the local team. Sponsors of children in Cameleon’s care contribute to funding their education and schooling until they obtain a diploma or a professional certificate. Moral support and encouragement from the Sponsors creates a strong and personal link, essential to the child’s rehabilitation.
How important is sponsorship to the functioning of the association?
The association could not exist without its sponsors, whose financial support constitutes more than one third of our budget. 80% of the funds go towards supporting the children’s needs, the remaining 20% pays the salaries of the supervising staff (social workers, housemothers) as well as the costs of sponsorship management and mail exchanges. Users can normally access this website at any moment. Cameleon Association France may however temporarily take it offline it for maintenance reasons.
Why should I sponsor?
Sponsors can have different roles depending on the needs of the child they are supporting. Cameleon helps two types of children: young girls and boys in need (Education and Development Program), young girls and adolescents who are victims of sexual abuse (Personal Reconstruction Program).
Only 30% of young Filipinos over 25 years old graduate with a degree, because of the cost of university education, whereas 95% of them go to primary school. Cameleon fights against this through the Education and Development Program. The association helps academically talented children, whose overall average grade is greater than 60%, aged between 10 and 24 years old and whose parents monthly income is between 15 and 90€. Thanks to the Sponsors, these children can continue their schooling, and strive to obtain a job that will allow them to live decently and also help their siblings to pursue studies. Cameleon asks the child’s family to contribute for 30% to the additional costs linked to their child’s schooling (school trips…). These young people are studious and motivated and could not complete their studies without the help of the Sponsors, who provide a moral support through the letters they send, in addition to the financial support.
In parallel, Cameleon centres welcome young girls and adolescents who are victims of sexual abuse, aged from 5 to 17 years old: this is the « Personal Reconstruction » Program. The sponsorship allows these young girls to return to school and the relationship they create with their Sponsor helps them to regain confidence and to rebuild themselves through a relationship with a caring adult.
Am I informed about the program the child I am sponsoring follows?
Yes, the Sponsor receives as a first document, a file giving the child’s story and profile. Then he/she will follow the child’s development and improvement through an annual report about the schooling, extra-curricular activities, health, familial and social relationships and any difficulties the child faces.
Can I choose the child I will be sponsoring?
The future Sponsors can indicate on the application form whether they prefer to sponsor a girl or a boy. They can also indicate a preferred age or the Program the child undertakes. Cameleon tries to respect these wishes, depending on the needs locally in the Philippines. Once the financial sponsorship is in place, the sponsorship manager sends a file to the new Sponsors.
Do other Sponsors support the child I’m helping?
Generally speaking, Cameleon designates only one Sponsor per child.
However, when it comes to young girls victims of sexual abuse, two or three persons may sponsor the same girl to better cover the costs of the care, which is more global: psychological or psychiatric support and legal support, in addition to schooling, medical follow-up…
Who can become a Sponsor?
Anyone can become a Sponsor, so long as he/she is willing to invest in this relationship, for a number of years, if possible, so as to accompany the child until the end of her/his studies.
How does the postal exchange work?
The sponsored children write to their Sponsor every two or three months. They sometimes send bracelets, cards or drawings. Cameleon asks the Sponsor to write at least three times a year (in English) to their referee. Sponsors send the letters to the association in the Philippines. Those are checked by the local team to ensure that the Sponsor respects the correspondence rules that are detailed in the guide of the sponsorship: for example no address (e-mail or postal) because no direct communication between the child and the Sponsor is allowed, for the sake of both the child and the Sponsor.
Those Sponsors who are not confident in their command of English can ask CAMELEON’s group of volunteer translators to help write their letters or translate the ones they receive.
What can I talk about in the letters sent to the child I sponsor?
Building a relationship by letter takes time. Each Sponsor/referee relationship is unique. Cameleon advises to write clearly, using short sentences as the English level of the children may vary, and to simply talk about their daily life. Sponsors may also ask questions about the schooling, the family, daily life and send pictures and postal cards with their letters.
Can I send presents to the child I sponsor?
Sponsors can send money to the children they sponsor, however, given the low cost of living in the Philippines, we ask that they limit their donations to 30€. Sometimes Sponsors wish to send presents to the children. Cameleon allows Sponsors to send parcels to the association in the Philippines so long as they respect the rules detailed in the sponsorship guide; for example avoid sending objects of value in the parcel to avoid theft.
Can I communicate with the child I sponsor by e-mail?
Sponsors can send e-mails in English to the children to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cameleon will forward the message.
How long does the sponsorship last?
Sponsorship lasts until the sponsored child gains a diploma or a professional certificate, anything between 2 and 12 years. Cameleon asks Sponsors to commit for a minimum of two years, which allows a young person to complete professional training. A Sponsor may also stop the sponsorship if he/she is facing personal difficulties or financial hardship. We will then look for another person to take over the sponsorship of the child. Also, should the young person temporarily or definitely leave the Program (wedding, graduation, starting a job), we will propose another child for you to sponsor.
How much is the monthly contribution?
We ask for a monthly contribution of 28 €, 44 € or 56 €, at the Sponsor’s choice. If you pay taxes in France, 75% of this amount is tax-deductible, to a limit of 526€ (66% of any amount greater than 526€), limited to 20% of your taxable revenue.
Can I visit the child I sponsor?
Yes. Cameleon often welcomes Sponsors locally. The Parisian office coordinates these trips all year long. However we do not recommend planning a visit at Christmas, however symbolic it may be: Most employees are on vacation and most of the children go home. Week-ends are good times to visit the child you sponsor: he/she will be much more available during these out-of-school periods. 3 or 4 days maximum is the recommended duration of the trip. This will allow you to share a dinner with him/her, meet his/her family, and maybe visit his/her school.
Should you wish to extend your visit include volunteering (minimum 10 days), the best period would be April/May, during Filipino Summer holidays. As for all volunteers, please send a resume and cover letter in French and English to email@example.com.
My sponsorship has just ended. May I sponsor one of my sponsored child’s siblings?
No. Only one child per family is eligible for sponsorship, in order to help a maximum number of families. Cameleon relies on young graduates who have a job to help their parents finance the studies of their siblings.